Do Debates Sway Voters? - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Do Debates Sway Voters?

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW)-- Last night Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett faced off in the final debate before Tuesdays election.

It's what we've heard for the last couple of months: Walker talking about the success of his record, and Barrett focusing on the John Doe Investigation

"What we got for the most part was well known talking points," said John McAdams, a political science professor at Marquette University. "With Barrett pounding on the John Doe and with Walker pounding on the deficit that he faced when he came in to office and how the deficit is largely reduced, largely gone."

"Politicians say the same thing all the time," said Julia Azari, a political science professor at Marquette University. "If they don't, they get hammered for flip-flopping and being inconsistent. And sometimes staying on message means staying on script."

But with the state so polarized do these debates even matter?

"I don't know if debates matter," Azari said. "It's kind of a ritual for people who are really in to politics. And most people who are really in to politics have a sense of how they're going to vote."

"The number of people who are undecided in polls, is very very small, 2 or 3 percent," McAdams said. "There aren't a lot of people out there open to being pushed one way or another."

So did either candidate come out a winner last night? Lazar says it was a draw.

"On the one hand, Barrett didn't have a lot of specifics for how he would resolve the deficit," Azari said. "He said he would sit down at the table with all the players and shared sacrifice. But he didn't in anyway roll out a day one plan. On the other hand, walker really evaded the divide and conquer question. And he also evaded a lot of the John Doe questions."

Both Azari and McAdams expect a big turnout Tuesday and say comes down to which party mobilizes voters and gets them to the polls.

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